The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has announced grant awards totaling $175,000 to six in-state recycling companies. The money comes as part of MassDEP’s Recycling Industries Reimbursement Credit (RIRC) grant program, which encourages recyclers to increase their intake of difficult-to-recycle materials that would otherwise wind up in landfills or incinerators. Materials diverted by grant recipients include food waste, wood, carpet, mixed plastics and road sweepings.

"Expanding the capacity of recycling companies to use recyclable materials matters to the Massachusetts economy and the environment," said MassDEP Acting Commissioner Arleen O'Donnell in a press release. "The recycling efforts of small companies like these are critical in order to reach our ambitious waste reduction goals."

As a condition of receiving funding, grant recipients this year will provide $3.3 million in matching funds and commit to meeting a total tonnage reduction goal of 15,000 tons per year for a two-year period. Since its inception in 1999, RIRC has provided 57 grants for a total of $2.25 million and leveraged matching funds of $8.4 million.